WELCOME TO CAMBODIA
Cambodia, a big and powerful Empire in the past, located in the heart of Southeast Asia, is arguably the jewel of the region. Undiscovered for centuries, its wealth of natural beauty and rich heritage continue to amaze and astound, with Angkor, the world renowned cultural heritage site dating back to the earliest days of cultured civilization, attracting visitors from all over the world.
You should have already submitted your passport and visa application to National Geographic staff in order to obtain your Cambodia Visa. In the event that we have not already processed your Cambodia visa, you can either obtain your Cambodia visa online (three weeks before the trip), or upon arrival at the airport in Phnom Penh/Siem Reap and other international borders such as Poi Pet/Bavet/Chau Doc/Dom Kralor by attached 02 ID-sized photos with USD 30 per person.
Once your visa is secured and your passport is returned, proceed to the immigration line where your passport will be stamped. After passing through Immigration, proceed to the luggage carousel. Collect your bags and continue through custom.
CUSTOMS UPON ARRIVAL
You will generally be required to fill out a Custom Declaration form, along with an Arrival/Departure Card, prior to arrival. If you are arriving from Thailand, these forms will be given to you in the departure lounge. If you arrive from Vietnam you may or may not receive the forms on the inbound flight. Both forms are available in the arrival Hall in Siem Reap.
CUSTOM UPON DEPARTURE
The export of archeological remains and of antiques is prohibited, and penalties are stiff. If you buy a reproduction of an antiques or ancient sculpture, be sure to get a certificate from seller to show that it is not the genuine article.
Officially shops are open Monday through Friday from 08:30 am to 11:30 am and 02:00 pm to 5:30 pm. However most people start a little later and go home a little earlier. On Sunday hours are, 08:00 am to 12:00 pm. Bank are open Monday to Friday from 08:00am until 03:00pm.
CLIMATE AND WEATHER
Cambodia’s climate can be divided into three seasons. The northeast monsoon from November to March marks the dry, cooler season. The southwest monsoon from May to October brings rain, high temperatures and high humidity. The periods between the monsoons are considered transitional with no definite weather pattern. The rains begin in May and are most intense in August and September. April is generally the hottest month with temperatures around 95 degree Fahrenheit, December and January are generally coldest with temperatures around 75 degrees.
We do not advise tight, revealing clothing or very short shirts. Lightweight, crease resistant, drip dry clothing is recommended. Modest dress for both men and women is a must in temples and pagodas. Bring a hat, as the sun is strong. Sneaker or walking shoes are a must for Angkor.
In Phnom Penh, and to a lesser extent, Siem Reap, there is also a wide variety of Thai, French and Chinese restaurants. Soups (Samlor), freshwater fish, especially grilled fish, (trey aing) and salads are common dishes on Khmer menus. Rice is of course the staple and common flavorings are coriander, lemongrass, and a fish paste called Tuk Trey. Most hotels have local and Western-style buffets Bottled mineral water, beer, wines and spirits are available everywhere.